Five Peshmerga killed in ISIS attack in Diyala
Five members of the Peshmerga forces were killed after Islamic State (ISIS) militants attacked the Kurdish forces in Diyala province late on Saturday, Esta Media Network said.

A group of ISIS militants attacked a point of the Peshmerga forces in Kalan area in Kulajo sub-district at 10:13 p.m. on Saturday, the report said.

A convoy of Peshmerga forces went to support the forces at the point, but an improvised explosive device (IED) hit their vehicle.

“One of the Peshmerga was wounded in the explosion, but ISIS militants martyred him,” the media network reporter noted.

Two of the Peshmerga had major ranks, the reporter said.

The ministry of Peshmerga which said earlier four members of Kurdish forces were wounded has yet to confirm the figures.

ISIS militants have increased attacks against Iraqi and Kurdish forces in the disputed areas claimed by both Erbil and Baghdad.

Earlier this month, the militants carried out two attacks against the Peshmerga forces in the disputed areas.

On October 31, two members of the Peshmerga forces were killed in another ISIS attack near Pirde, south of Erbil.

The Peshmerga ministry said the militants continued to use a security gap between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to attack the Peshmerga.

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said in a statement that the proliferation and continuity of ISIS attacks are "serious and dangerous message” and that they will pose a real threat to the region.

He called for further cooperation and coordination between the Peshmerga and the Iraqi army with the support of the International Coalition.

Garmaser Peshmerga Commander Mahmoud Sangawi told a media outlet affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) that if Peshmerga forces’ outposts are strong, ISIS militants cannot carry such attacks.

"Our own negligence led to this incident,” he said.

He added that there is no security vacuum in the area as both Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga are present in the area.

Meanwhile Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said the ISIS attack on the Peshmerga forces reaffirmed the importance of continued coordination between Erbil and Baghdad.

The Iraqi military and the Kurdish forces have been working to form two joint brigades to protect the disputed territories from ISIS attacks.

Kurdish officials have repeatedly warned that ISIS militants are using a “security vacuum” between the Iraqi and Kurdish forces to carry out attacks in the disputed territories.

To fill the gaps, the Iraqi military and Peshmerga forces established four joint operation rooms in Khanaqin, Makhmour, Kirkuk and Mosul to exchange information and launch joint operations against the militants.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 but the militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range which extends into the northern provinces – an area described by officials as a “triangle of death”.

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